The challenges of academic publication in an on-line world – Lorina Barker’s “A Shearer’s Life”

Posted: May 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

SVM returns to a collaboration begun in 2008 with historian & academic Lorina Barker from the University of New England.

Lorina is in the final phase of completing her PhD and a major part of her submission is the digital media gathered during the making of a short film “A Shearer’s Life: Introducing the Barker Brothers”, through the Lester Bostock Indigenous Mentorship program offered by Metro Screen & supported by the NSW Film & Television Office.
I was commissioned as mentor and saw Lorina though all stages of production & post. We were able to crew the project with young locals who had also been mentorees on other projects with me, or students of mine at AFTVS-Armidale TAFE.
The challenge for us is to find a variety of delivery modes of her final work & choose the appropriate platforms for delivery for a variety of purposes.
How do we integrate audio recordings, video, photographs, Lorina’s creative writing (poetry and prose) into the different publication options available to us and to suit a number of purposes.
Her markers will need the paper version supplemented with a DVD, her family & the communities of Weimoringle & Bourke, in far western NSW, with differing levels of technological literacy, access and familiarity will have other needs – many will only be able to access the material using DVD players & their TV; how to create an archival publication for the University library and public libraries, how to create archival material for distribution to State & National archives, what the challenges are to publish other print & digital ‘derived’ publications. 
Even considering the best platforms for delivery as educational material for schools & how a digitally savvy next generation of Facebookers and phone Apps users might access the stories and cultural heritage that Lorina’s work re-tells.
How do we publish across  the spectrum –  from academia to the public domain of the online world. How do we remain culturally sensitive & how do we deal with intellectual and cultural property?
“A Shearer’s Life” has been screened in community & presented at conferences & seminars – how do we take the next steps?
Her film is, at this stage, publicly available through Metro Screen on their 2008 Showreel –
Here’s one of the posters SVM designed for the in-community presentation at the Bourke Bowling Club.

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